Southland Parks — Los Angeles’s State Society Picnics

From the 1900s through the 1970s, large numbers of migrants to Los Angeles gathered in themed picnics organized around their states of origin known as State Society Picnics or just State Picnics (although that sounds confusingly to me like an outdoor state banquet). They were known as "State Society Picnics." The phenomenon was huge. One … Continue reading Southland Parks — Los Angeles’s State Society Picnics

Happy 909, or, Pomona Valley Day!

INTRODUCTION Snapshot of the Communities of the Pomona Valley Readers are apparently loving these area code/valley posts. Last year's 818/San Fernando Valley Day post was my most-read piece in 2021. That unexpected response inspired me to write this year's 626/San Gabriel Valley Day post, which -- two month's after its publication -- has already climbed … Continue reading Happy 909, or, Pomona Valley Day!

Those Useless Trees — The Southern California Black Walnut

One of the most iconic trees of Southern California is the Juglans californica, commonly known as the Southern California black walnut. As trees go, it is fairly small, usually reaching a height and radius that tops out around fifteen meters. It could, alternately, be described as a large shrub -- as many specimens have up … Continue reading Those Useless Trees — The Southern California Black Walnut

Greater Streets — Visiting Silver Lake’s Sunset Triangle Plaza

It’s the tenth anniversary of Silver Lake’s Sunset Triangle Plaza. In its first decade, Silver Lake’s first (and thus far, only) street-to-plaza conversion has truly emerged as one of the primary hubs of the community. That's no small feet when the actual center of the neighborhood is a giant, fenced-off reservoir and none of the … Continue reading Greater Streets — Visiting Silver Lake’s Sunset Triangle Plaza

Homes Fit for Heroes — Motel-Style Apartments

Metro Los Angeles boasts numerous varieties of apartments and other multi-tenant housing types. Bungalow courts and garden apartments all have always enjoyed a healthy following. I'm sure I'm not the only Angeleno who loves a nice courtyard apartment or those hotel-style mid-rises topped with neon signs that are found throughout Midtown and Westlake. Even the … Continue reading Homes Fit for Heroes — Motel-Style Apartments

Swinging Doors — Los Angeles Mead and Meaderies

Happy Mead Day! Yes, 6 August is Mead Day -- not that I expect anyone to know that. Nor did I know it until I searched up "mead day" a couple of weeks ago and discovered that it was already coming up. Why this date? I don't know. There are certainly other days more associated … Continue reading Swinging Doors — Los Angeles Mead and Meaderies

Greater Streets — Street Vacations: When Streets Get Taken Away

About a month ago, following the introduction of a car-free section of Griffith Park Drive in Griffith Park, I wrote a piece celebrating ten Los Angeles streets that have been reclaimed from automobiles over the past century. After that, I wrote about open streets events, like CicLAvia, that have for 20 years provided tantalizing if … Continue reading Greater Streets — Street Vacations: When Streets Get Taken Away

Homes Fit For Heroes — Visiting Riverside’s Mission Inn

In April, when many transit agencies were free in recognition of Earth Day, I rode Metrolink to and from four of Southern California's county seats. I called it The Great Metrolink Four Counties Ride. It was my first time really exploring San Bernardino and Riverside. Downtown San Bernardino was concerning -- although I would love … Continue reading Homes Fit For Heroes — Visiting Riverside’s Mission Inn

Take ’em to the Bridge — Visiting the 6th Street Viaduct

On Sunday, my friend and frequent exploration companion Mike Morgan and I visited the newly opened 6th Street Viaduct -- which replaces the old 6th Street Viaduct. The 6th Street Viaduct, also known as the 6th Street Bridge, is, as the name suggests, a viaduct bridge. For those that don't know, a viaduct is a … Continue reading Take ’em to the Bridge — Visiting the 6th Street Viaduct